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EXPOSED Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870
Works by major artists, including Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Nan Goldin, Lee Miller, Thomas Ruff, Paul Strand, and Weegee will be presented alongside photographs made by amateurs, professional journalists, and governmental agencies, exploring the larger cultural significance of voyeurism and surveillance technology.
Conceived by SFMOMA Senior Curator of Photography Sandra S. Phillips and co-curated with Tate Curator of Photography Simon Baker, Exposed traces how voyeuristic observation with cameras in the 19th century influenced street photography in the 20th century. Moving beyond typical notions of voyeurism and surveillance as strictly erotic or predatory, the presentation will address these concepts in their broadest sense—in both historical and contemporary contexts—investigating how new technologies, urban planning, global intelligence, celebrity culture, and an evolving media environment have fueled a growing interest in the subject. With the proliferation of cell-phone cameras, YouTube videos, security cameras, reality television, satellite views, and infrared technology, our potential to spy on others seems increasingly boundless.
Georges Dudognon, Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain ca. 1950s. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Members of Foto Forum, 2005.200
© Estate of Georges Dudognon
Investigating the shifting boundaries between seeing and spying, the private act and the public image, Exposed challenges us to consider how the camera has transformed the very nature of looking. Bringing together historical and contemporary photographs, films, and video works by both unknown photographers and internationally renowned artists, this provocative exhibition examines some of the camera’s most unsettling uses, including pornography, surveillance, stalking celebrity, and witnessing violence. Exposed poses compelling and urgent questions about who is looking at whom, and why.
© Erich Salomon
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